This, Bonheur’s best-known painting, shows the horse market held in Paris on the tree-lined Boulevard de l’Hôpital, near the asylum of Salpêtrière, which is visible in the left background. For a year and a half Bonheur sketched there twice a week, dressing as a man to discourage attention. Bonheur was well established as an animal painter when the painting debuted at the Paris Salon of 1853, where it received wide praise. In arriving at the final scheme, the artist drew inspiration from George Stubbs, Théodore Gericault, Eugène Delacroix, and ancient Greek sculpture: she referred to The Horse Fair as her own "Parthenon frieze."
Dimensions:96 1/4 x 199 1/2 in. (244.5 x 506.7 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1887
This, Bonheur’s best-known painting, shows the horse market held in Paris on the tree-lined Boulevard de l’Hôpital, near the asylum of Salpêtrière, which is visible in the left background. For a year and a half Bonheur sketched there twice a week, having obtained permission from the police to dress as a man to discourage attention (Davies 1970). Her choice of massive draft horses, rather than saddle horses, depicted at the moment of turning before they stride back up the boulevard, imparts thunderous movement and energy to the scene. An early inspiration for the picture came when Bonheur "happen[ed] to think about the Parthenon friezes while in a crowd of horse dealers trying out their beasts" (Klumpke 1908). In arriving at the final scheme, Bonheur also drew from the precedents of George Stubbs, Théodore Gericault, and Eugène Delacroix. Bonheur was well established as an animal painter when the canvas debuted at the Paris Salon of 1853, where it was generally praised.
At the invitation of Charles de Morny, the Minister of the Interior who oversaw the Division of Fine Arts, Bonheur presented studies for The Horse Fair and another projected picture, Haymaking in the Auvergne (1855; Musée National du Château, Fontainebleau), in the hope of securing an official commission. Asserting that she was too inexperienced in painting horses to carry out the present scene successfully, Morny selected Haymaking, which depicts peasants loading a haycart pulled by oxen. Following the success of The Horse Fair, however, Charles-Philippe de Chennevières, Inspector-General of Fine Arts and chief administrator of the annual Salon, made an attempt to substitute our picture for the other; his offer was refused. (On the foregoing see Klumpke 1908.)
Upon the close of the Salon The Horse Fair traveled to Ghent, and in 1854 it was shown in Bordeaux. When the city of Bordeaux declined to purchase it, Bonheur accepted an offer from the British dealer Ernest Gambart (it was immediately afterward that Chennevières made the offer recounted above). Before the sale Bonheur responded to a perceived lack of finish from some quarters (e.g., Clément de Ris 1853 and de la Madelène 1853) by retouching the ground, trees, and sky: this is thought to explain the curious date inscription, "1853.5," which likely indicates that the artist returned to the painting in 1855 (Sterling and Salinger 1966). In the French press, the sale to England was lamented as a national loss (de la Forge 1856). In 1855, the painting embarked on a two-year tour of Great Britain, including a private viewing at Buckingham Palace at the request of Queen Victoria (Lambourne 1999; cf Roger-Milès 1900).
Gambart sold The Horse Fair to the New Jersey collector William P. Wright in 1857, and in 1866 the latter sold it to the New York department store magnate Alexander T. Stewart (who also owned Ernest Meissonier’s 1807, Friedland, 87.20.1). In 1887, when the painting was offered at the estate sale of Stewart’s widow, the railroad millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt secured it as a gift to The Met. At the time it was one of the most celebrated works of contemporary art in the world, its popularity spurred not only by its wide-ranging display, but by the dissemination of reproductions (see Notes; for one of these reproductions’ formative influence on the American painter Wayne Thiebaud, see http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/4/wayne-thiebaud/). During a period when female painters were not uncommon, Bonheur stood out owing to a lack of perceptible femininity in her work. One anonymous writer described The Horse Fair as "a wonderful work for any painter; but as the production of a female it is marvellous [sic] in conception and execution" (Art-Journal, August 1, 1855). Another critic, noting that the artist was present at a reception following the installation of the painting at London’s Pall Mall Gallery on July 17, 1855, remarked with wonder that "so masculine a work is the production of a feminine hand" (Times, July 18, 1855).
Asher Ethan Miller 2016
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Rosa Bonheur 1853.5
[Ernest Gambart, London, 1855–57; bought from the artist for Fr 40,000; sold for Fr 30,000 to Wright]; William P. Wright, Weehawken, N.J. (1857–66; sold to Stewart); Alexander T. Stewart, New York (1866–d. 1876); his widow, Cornelia M. Stewart, New York (1876–d. 1886; her estate sale, American Art Association, New York, March 23–28ff., 1887, no. 217, for $53,000 to Samuel P. Avery for Vanderbilt); Cornelius Vanderbilt, New York (1887)
Paris. Salon. May 15–?, 1853, no. 134 (as "Marché aux chevaux de Paris").
Ghent. Palais de l'Université. "XXIIe Exposition nationale et triennale de Gand, Salon de 1853," August 21–October ?, 1853, no. 29 [see Art-Journal 1853 and Sterling and Salinger 1966].
Bordeaux. Galerie de la société des amis des arts. "Salon des amis des arts de Bordeaux [5ème exposition]," November 12–?, 1854, no. 78 [see Sterling and Salinger 1966].
London. Pall Mall Gallery. "Second Annual Exhibition of the French School of Fine Arts," July 17–September 5, 1855, no. 24 [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
Glasgow. location unknown. "French School of Fine Arts," after September 5, 1855–before February 1856, no catalogue? [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
Liverpool. location unknown. "French School of Fine Arts," February 1856, no catalogue? [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
Manchester. Royal Institution. "French School of Fine Arts," April 1–?, 1856, no. 27 [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
Birmingham. Everitt and Hill's Gallery. "French School of Fine Arts," by August 13, 1856, no catalogue? [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
Sheffield. James Gilbert. "French School of Fine Arts," March 15–April 4, 1857, no catalogue? [see Klumpke 1908, Sterling and Salinger 1966, Maas 1975].
London. German Gallery. August 1857, no catalogue [see Art-Journal 1857 and Maas 1975].
New York. Williams, Stevens and Williams Gallery. October 2, 1857–January 2, 1858, no catalogue [see New York Times 1857 and Ashton 1981].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of the Seventies," April 2–September 10, 1946, no. 64.
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 4–November 23, 1947, unnumbered cat.
Iowa City. State University of Iowa, School of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 9–March 31, 1948, unnumbered cat.
Bloomington. Indiana University. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–May 16, 1948, no catalogue.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Past Rediscovered: French Painting, 1800–1900," July 3–September 7, 1969, no. 4.
Bordeaux. Galerie des Beaux-Arts. "Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899)," May 24–August 31, 1997, no. 12.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861," September 19, 2000–January 7, 2001.
Frederic Henriet. Coup d'oeil sur le Salon de 1853. Paris, 1853, p. 18 [see Refs. Sterling and Salinger 1966, Watson 1983].
Horsin Déon. Rapport sur le Salon de 1853. Paris, 1853, pp. 12–13.
Henry de la Madelène. Le Salon de 1853. Paris, 1853, pp. 55–56 [see Ref. Sterling and Salinger 1966], states that it needs varnishing and seems unfinished in parts.
Claude Vignon. Salon de 1853. Paris, 1853, pp. 115–16, compares it to Gericault.
J. J. Arnoux. "Beaux-arts: Salon de 1853." La patrie 13 (May 7, 1853), p. 2.
Camille Corot. Letter to Constant Dutilleux. [after May 15, 1853] [Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Yb3 946, rés; excerpt published in “Chronology,” in Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, and Vincent Pomarède, "Corot," exh. cat., The Met, 1996, p. 413], reacts to the painting after seeing it at the Paris Salon, writing: “J’ai été voir l’exposition . . . Mlle Bonheur, pas de délire: c’est éclatant, voilà tout. Il n’y a pas de nerf” (I saw the exhibition of Mlle Bonheur, nothing extraordinary: it's dazzling, that's all. There's no nerve there) [see also Robaut 1872].
"Courrier, Paris, 15 mai: Exposition de peinture 1853." Messager de Gand no. 136 (May 16, 1853), p. 4, notes that the painting seems destined for the honors of the Salon this year.
"Nouvelles du jour: Paris." La presse 17 (May 16–17, 1853), p. 2, as "Marché aux chevaux de Paris"; cites it in a list of notable works at the Salon.
P[rosper]. Mérimée. "Salon de 1853." Le moniteur universel nos. 136–37 (May 16–17, 1853), p. 1, remembers it well for its truth and verve in execution and notes that this time Bonheur has attained the limits of the genre to which she devotes herself.
"Le Salon." Vert-vert (May 19, 1853), p. 2, [reprint of La presse 1853].
L[ouis]. Peisse. "Salon." Le constitutionnel no. 140 (May 20, 1853), p. 3.
"France, Paris, 20 mai." Messager de Gand (May 22, 1853), p. 3, reports that there are calls in Paris for the author of “the magnificent painting 'The Horse Fair'” to receive the Legion of Honor.
E[tie]nne J[ea]n Delécluze. "Feuilleton du Journal des débats: Exposition de 1853." Journal des débats politiques et littéraires (May 22, 1853), p. 1, notes that the two paintings of the strongest, most original, and most virile execution were created by two women; states that Bonheur transformed a vulgar subject into a scene of forcefulness, greatness, and splendor.
Ed[ouard]. Thierry. "Salon de 1853: Coup d'oeil général." L'assemblée nationale 6 (May 25, 1853), p. 3, praises the painting's "virile" drawing and its representation of movement and light.
A. J. du Pays. "Salon de 1853." L'illustration 21 (May 28, 1853), pp. 345–46, ill. pp. 344–45 (wood engraving by Best Hotelin & Cie), praises the picture’s realism and the artist’s careful study of the subject, while critiquing a few elements of the composition; calls it “l‘oeuvre saillante du salon” (the outstanding work of the Salon).
Cham. "Première promenade à l'exposition." Le charivari (May 29, 1853), p. 3, incorporating motifs from this painting, caricatures both Bonheur and the sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet for their exclusively animal-focused entries to the Salon of 1853.
P[rosper]. Mérimée. "Salon de 1853." Le moniteur universel no. 156 (June 5, 1853), p. 1, remarks that "quelque pénible et humiliant qu’il soit pour un critique de faire des éloges sans restrictions, je ne découvre rien à redire en ce tableau" (as painful and humiliating it is for a critic to deliver unqualified praise, I find nothing to critique in this painting); notes its naturalism but then wonders if Bonheur could not have added something to contrast the thick forms of the colossal Percherons, such as Arab or English race horses
Jules Lecomte. "Salon de 1853, Correspondance particulière de L'indépendance belge, Paris, 7 juin." L'indépendance belge 23 (June 9, 1853), p. 1, compares its realism favorably to that of Courbet but notes that it does not appear finished and needs to be varnished; adds that it would also benefit from livelier color and greater idealization.
"Nouvelles divers: Nouvelles de Paris." Revue et gazette des théâtres 24 (June 12, 1853), unpaginated, erroneously states that Monsieur de Morny [presumably Charles Auguste Louis Joseph Demorny, called comte de Morny, later duc de Morny, Paris (d. 1865)] has just bought the painting for thirty thousand francs.
"Nouvelles." Vert-vert (June 13, 1853), p. 3, repeats the erroneous report of the painting’s sale published in the “Revue et Gazette des Théâtres” the day before.
"Paris." Journal des débats politiques et littéraires (June 14, 1853), p. 2, states that the "Revue et gazette des théâtres" of June 12 incorrectly reported that the painting was sold and affirms that it is still owned by the artist.
L[ouis]. Clément de Ris. "Salon de 1853: Lettres à un ami, à Bruxelles. II, Les paysagistes." L'artiste, 5th ser., 10 (June 15, 1853), pp. 148–49, compares it unfavorably with Troyon and criticizes its summary treatment; observes the influence of Gericault's lithographs.
Comte H[orace]. de Viel-Castel. "Salon de 1853: Quatrième article." L'athenæum français 2 (June 18, 1853), p. 585, praises its execution, composition, draftsmanship, and color; compares it favorably with Gericault’s depiction of horses; states it approaches history painting and belongs to "la grande école" (the great school); praises the artist’s deep familiarity with horses and the painting’s accurate depiction of the “belle race française du Perche” (beautiful French Percheron breed); defends it against criticism by noting its unfinished state; calls it “une des meilleures productions de l'école moderne” (one of the best productions of the modern school).
Rosa Bonheur. Letter to the comte de Nieuwerkerke. June 18, 1853 [Archives Nationales de France, Paris, 20144790/148], refutes the rumor that it was commissioned by the government for ten thousand francs and that she reneged on the agreement in order to sell it for five thousand francs more; recounts that when she proposed a sketch of the composition to the comte de Morny, Minister of the Interior, he preferred another subject since she had not treated horses before; states that she decided to continue with it anyway for her own satisfaction.
A. Bayle. "Le Salon de 1853." Gazette du Midi no. 6298 (June 24, 1853), p. 2, notes that the prosaic subject has been painted "vigoureusement et d'une main virile" (vigorously and with a virile hand) but wonders if there could not have been a more beautiful subject than horse dealers.
Paul Mantz. "Le Salon de 1853." Revue de Paris (July 1, 1853), p. 95, calls it “de la prose féminine” (a feminine success); states that the artist has not gone far enough because she paints only what she has seen; criticizes the handling and style; compares her pale, shallow color unfavorably to the second manner of Horace Vernet; notes the horses are strong and healthy but too similar; declares the painting to be without virility but states that “ne veut pas dire qu’elle soit au-dessous de ce que nous voyons faire a bien des hommes” (does not mean that it is below what we see many men doing); concludes that the artist “reste ce qu’elle était hier; nous eussions voulu la voir plus grande” (remains what she was yesterday; we would have liked to see her greater).
Auguste-François Bonheur. Letter to Constantin Pecqueur. July 1, 1853 [Institut international d'Histoire sociale d'Amsterdam - IIHS, fonds Constantin Pecqueur, no. 7; see Borin 2011], discusses the proceedings by which the art market hindered the artist from selling the painting at the best price.
"Annonces légales et avis divers." Feuille de provins 39 (July 2, 1853), p. 1, cites a private letter's response to the Salon exhibition that praises the artist's depiction of the horses and light touch but states that the cobblestones look like paving clad with dust after a rainstorm, which is inconsistent with the subject; also notes that a stable boy is "missing" his shirt.
Eugène Delacroix. Journal entry. July 10, 1853 [published in Michèle Hannoosh, ed., "Eugène Delacroix: Journal," Paris, 2009, vol. 1, p. 678], in a discussion of customs surrounding the distribution of medals at the Salon, states in reference to this painting that Bonheur "a fait cette année un effort supérieur à tous ceux des années précédentes," but laments "vous êtes réduit à l'encourager de la voix et du geste".
Le Tintamarre 11 (July 17, 1853), p. 2, lists it among the successes of the Salon.
Courtois Neveu Aine. "Les moutons de Mlle Rosa Bonheur." Vert-vert (July 18, 1853), p. 2.
[Jean-Pierre] Thénot. "Feuilleton de la Gazette de France du 18 juillet 1853: Salon de 1853." La gazette de France (July 19, 1853), pp. 1–2, states that the dimensions and placement of the painting are what brought it attention at the Salon; faults its overly accentuated forms, which he finds ungraceful, as well as the monotony of its identical horses of the same breed and type and what he calls the horse dealers' vulgar, ugly faces.
Théophile Gautier. "Salon de 1853." La presse 17 (July 22, 1853), p. 3, notes that its placement at the Salon creates the illusion that the work is a diorama; states that it astonishes with its "vigueur et son énergie, surtout lorsqu'on songe que c'est une main féminine qui a brossé ces robustes limoniers aux puissantes encolures, aux narines fumantes, aux jarrets nerveux" (vigor and energy, especially when one considers that it was a feminine hand that painted these robust shaft-horses with powerful necks, fuming nostrils, and sinewy hocks); remarks that everything has been painted with "une brosse vive, hardie et ferme . . . avec une fougue toute virile" (a lively brush, daring and firm . . . with a very virile spirit); concludes "Si, au lieu de porter une jupe, elle portait un pantalon, [Bonheur] aurait assurément la croix,—et, selon nous, on devrait la lui donner" (If, instead of wearing a skirt, she wore pants, [Bonheur] would surely receive the cross [of the Legion of Honor]—and, in our opinion, we should give it to her).
L[ouis]. Peisse. "Salon. VII: Tableaux de genre et paysages." Le constitutionnel no. 203 (July 22, 1853), p. 3, does not believe the work to have greater importance than Bonheur's earlier work, except in its size; notes that offers for the work have risen to thirty to forty thousand francs, but cautions that its commercial value differs from its artistic value; praises the part of the composition that is animated, bustling, and picturesque, as well as its spirit and ease of execution and truthful imitation, yet finds the composition loosely constructed and superficial, the overall tonality lacking in competence and power; finds the Percherons empty of substance, and the overall work, while interesting, agreeable, and skillful, unworthy of original, superior talents.
Charles Tillot. "Exposition de 1853: Revue du Salon." Le siècle 18 (July 23, 1853), p. 1, calls it a new effort by the artist to elevate her work to great painting; praises it, especially its "science de dessin" (science of drawing); notes he would prefer to see more space between the animals and the trees in the background and less cold coloration, but remarks that all that makes this painting appeal to the public is due to a great finesse of observation, sincerity, and study, and that one should not find faults in the presence of such rare merits.
Ed[ouard]. Thierry. "Faits divers: Salon de 1853." L'assemblée nationale 6 (July 23, 1853), pp. 3–4, states that he is less than enthusiastic about the work; calls it a cold, exacting study of the truth; expresses distaste for the tree-laden background and suggests that a more auspicious background could have been found; mentions that rumors are circulating that the government would like to purchase the picture for twenty-five or fifty thousand francs and perhaps give Bonheur the gold medal.
Jules Lovy. "Chronique." Vert-vert (July 26, 1853), p. 1.
L[ouis]. Peisse. "Salon. Paysage. VIII." Le constitutionnel no. 207 (July 26, 1853), p. 3, calls her other painting on view at the Salon more successful.
"Dernier courrier: Correspondance particulière, Paris, le 3 août." Journal de la Belgique (August 4, 1853), p. 2, reports that Empress Eugénie desires to purchase the painting but since it is not finished, it will return to the painter.
Alphonse Renard. "Feuilleton de l'industriel du 6 août 1853: Revue sur l'exposition des arts, Salon de 1853 (4me article)." L'industriel 3 (August 6, 1853), pp. 127–28, praises the work, finding it very true to nature.
Richard Sincère [Juliette Dillon, pseud. for Juliette Godillon]. "Un souvenir du Salon." Vert-vert (August 6, 1853), pp. 1–2, recounts visits both to the Salon where the painting hung and with Bonheur, two years prior, when she was at work on the first rough sketches for the painting in oil on canvas.
Paul Huet. Letter to M. Sollier. August 14, 1853 [see Huet 1911], calls it the success of the Salon.
Edouard Houssaye. "Gravures du numéro." L'artiste, 5th ser., 11 (August 15, 1853), p. 32, ill. opp. p. 32 (engraving by Veyrassat).
Emile de la Bédollière. "Courrier." Le siècle 18 (August 15, 1853), p. 1.
"Nouvelles diverses." Le siècle 18 (August 15, 1853), p. 2, erroneously states that the painting was purchased by the Empress.
"Nouvelles diverses." La gazette de France (August 17, 1853), p. 3, erroneously states that it was purchased by the Empress.
J. L. "Feuilleton de l'indépendance belge: Salon de 1853." L'indépendance belge 23 (August 19, 1853), pp. 1–2.
"Gent, 23 aug." Het Handelsblad (August 24, 1853), p. 3, notes the painting aroused general admiration.
L’indépendance belge 23 (August 25, 1853), p. 2, cites the painting as one of the most remarkable of the exhibition.
"Exposition triennale de tableaux au palais de l’université." Messager de Gand no. 237 (August 25, 1853), p. 1, praises the painting as a masterpiece and as “the despair" of lesser animal painters; expresses astonishment that “a young woman produced it”.
"Beaux-arts." Journal de la Belgique (August 26, 1853), p. 4, declares the painting a masterpiece.
G. P. "Exposition triennale de tableaux au Palais de l'Université, Salon de 1853." Messager de Gand no. 254 (September 11, 1853), p. 1, praises it, describes the right side as unfinished ("in the state of a simple sketch"), and notes that the dull color will be remedied with varnish.
"Art in Continental States." Art-Journal (October 1, 1853), p. 262.
X. X. "Exposition de Gand, deuxième article." L'indépendance belge 23 (October 3, 1853), p. 1, praises it but notes that this admiration is "redoubled when one learns that this is the work of a woman".
R. "Exposition de Gand." L’étoile belge 4 (October 24, 1853), p. 1, writes that French critics did not exaggerate their praise for the painting.
"Art in Continental States." Art-Journal (June 1, 1855), p. 193, notes that this work has been sold for Fr 40,000.
"French Exhibition." Times (July 18, 1855), p. 11, notes that this work was hung on July 17, 1855 in the Pall Mall Gallery, followed by a reception for the artist; remarks with wonder that "so masculine a work is the production of a feminine hand".
"French Gallery, Pall Mall." Morning Post (July 18, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 43–45].
"Rosa Bonheur's 'Horse Fair at Paris'." Daily News (July 19, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 45–47].
"Fine Arts Department." Illustrated London News (July 21, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 47–48].
"French School of the Fine Arts—Mdlle. Rosa Bonheur." Atlas (July 21, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, p. 48].
"French Exhibition of Painters, Pall Mall." Press (July 21, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 48–49].
"Madame de Bonheur's Conversazione." Morning Advertiser (July 23, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 49–50].
Guardian (July 25, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 50–51].
Daily News (July 26, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 51–54].
Court Journal (July 28, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 54–55].
"The Horse Fair." Sunday Times (July 29, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, p. 55].
"Minor Topics of the Month." Art-Journal (August 1, 1855), p. 243, calls it "a wonderful work for any painter; but as the production of a female it is marvellous [sic] in conception and execution".
"Art and Artists: Rosa Bonheur." Critic 14 (August 1, 1855), p. 372.
"Fine-Art Gossip." Athenæum (August 4, 1855), pp. 905–6.
"The French Exhibition." Spectator (August 4, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, p. 62].
"'The Horse Fair' in Paris." Examiner (August 11, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 59–61].
"The Exhibition of French Paintings, Pall Mall." Lady's Newspaper and Pictorial Times (August 11, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 61–62].
"Rosa Bonheur's 'Horse Fair'." Observer (August 19, 1855) [reprinted in Ref. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais 1857, pp. 62–64].
Anatole de la Forge. La Peinture contemporaine en France. Paris, 1856, pp. 334–35, laments its sale to England as a loss for the national art collections.
"Minor Topics of the Month." Art-Journal (April 1, 1856), p. 126, notes that it is presently on exhibit at the Royal Institution, Manchester "under the care of Messrs. Agnew & Son".
"Affairs in France." New York Daily Times (August 16, 1856), p. 2, reports that it was purchased in 1853 "by a Dutchman, who afterwards took it to England, where, it is said, he has realized eighty thousand dollars by its exhibition!".
F. Lepelle de Bois-Gallais. Memoir of Mademoiselle Rosa Bonheur. New York, 1857, pp. 34–35, 41–64, reprints British reviews of the painting from its London exhibition in 1855.
"Minor Topics of the Month." Art-Journal (August 1, 1857), p. 262, notes that it is presently exhibited on Bond Street [at the German Gallery] along with the reduced copy painted by Bonheur for Thomas Landseer's use when making the engraving.
"Rosa Bonheur's Horse Fair." New York Times (October 1, 1857), p. 4, describes this picture's exhibition at the Williams, Stevens, and Williams Gallery, New York, where a mirror was installed over it "at such an angle as to throw out the admirable perspective of the composition with singular force".
P. J. Proudhon. Du principe de l'art et de sa destination sociale. Paris, 1865, pp. 214–15, recounts the Empress Eugénie's visit to the Salon of 1853 to see the painting and that observers took pains to make sure the Andalusian Empress would not judge French horses based on those of her own home but instead might appreciate the fidelity with which Bonheur captured the most beautiful of French horse breeds, the Percheron; remarks that the painting proves that from 1853 on Courbet was not the only French realist painter.
Eugène de Mirecourt. Rosa Bonheur. Paris, 1867, pp. 60–62, notes that the artist spent eighteen months on studies for this picture, during which time she visited the horse fair twice a week, dressed in male attire; states erroneously that the painting was sold to the French government, then retrieved by Bonheur and resold to Gambart.
M. de Saint-Santin. "J.-R. Brascassat." Gazette des beaux-arts 24 (June 1868), pp. 575–76.
Alfred Robaut. Documents sur Corot. November 19, 1872, vol. 2, p. 36 [unpublished manuscript, Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; transcription in curatorial files], recounts a conversation with Corot in which he recalled a visit to Bonheur's studio when he saw the painting in progress [1852–53] and felt the composition to be disjointed at points in comparison to the preparatory drawing.
"The Stewart Art Gallery." Harper's Weekly 23 (May 3, 1879), p. 350, ill. pp. 348–49 (wood engraving of the Stewart gallery, including this picture).
Cicerone. "Private Galleries: I. Collection of the Estate of Alexander Turney Stewart." Art Amateur 1 (June 1879), p. 6.
Cicerone. "Private Galleries: Collection of the Estate of Alexander Turney Stewart. II. The Meissoniers." Art Amateur 1 (July 1879), p. 29.
Cicerone. "Private Galleries: Collection of the Estate of Alexander Turney Stewart. III." Art Amateur (September 1879), p. 74, praises Bonheur's depiction of the horses in this picture compared to Meissonier's in "1807, Friedland" (MMA 87.20.1).
Edward Strahan [Earl Shinn], ed. The Art Treasures of America. Philadelphia, , vol. 1, pp. 23, 25, 48, 52, ill. (engraving).
John Oldcastle. "An American Millionaire's Gallery." Art Journal, n.s., (1887), pp. 154–56, ill. (engraving of the Stewart gallery, including this picture).
Walter Rowlands. "Art Sales in America." Art Journal, n.s., (1887), p. 294, notes that it brought [the American equivalent of] £10,600 at the Stewart sale in 1887.
"Two Great Masterpieces: Meissonier and Bonheur Excite the Bidders." New York Times (March 26, 1887), p. 1, describes its purchase for $53,000 by Samuel P. Avery, acting as an agent for an unknown collector, at the Stewart auction.
"For the People to Enjoy: Rosa Bonheur's Great Work in the Art Museum." New York Times (March 27, 1887), p. 9, reports Vanderbilt's gift of this painting to the MMA.
"The Fine Arts: Recent Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum." Critic (April 16, 1887), p. 193.
"La vente de la galerie Stewart à New York." L'illustration 89 (April 16, 1887), p. 252, states that the painting is destined for The Met.
Mrs. Schuyler van Rensselaer. "Fine Arts: Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum." Independent 39 (April 21, 1887), p. 6.
M[ariana]. G[riswold]. van Rensselaer. "Pictures of the Season in New York. III." American Architect and Building News 21 (April 23, 1887), p. 195.
Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur 16 (May 1887), p. 122.
"The Fine Arts: Further Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum." Critic (May 7, 1887), p. 232.
"The New Pictures at The Metropolitan Museum." Harper's Weekly (May 14, 1887), p. ?.
Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur 17 (June 1887), p. 3.
É[mile]. Durand-Gréville. "La peinture aux États-Unis: les galeries privées (2e et dernier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 36 (September 1887), p. 250.
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer. "The Wolfe Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. I." Independent 39 (November 17, 1887), p. 6.
"Gallery and Studio: The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Art Amateur 18 (December 1887), p. 7.
Clarence Cook. Art and Artists of Our Time. New York, 1888, vol. 1, pp. 254, 257–58, relates that Bonheur painted a reduced replica of this picture with some changes for Landseer's use in making the engraving, and that this replica was bequeathed by Jacob Bell to the National Gallery; notes that the National Gallery declined Bonheur's offer to replace their version with a second replica which she considered better.
René Peyrol. Rosa Bonheur: Her Life and Work. London, 1889, pp. 8–10, 25–26, ill. (frontispiece, etching by L. Flameng) [reprinted in Esther Singleton, ed., "Modern Paintings As Seen and Described by Great Writers," New York, 1911, pp. 169–74, ill.], notes that in preparation for this picture, Bonheur visited the horse market dressed as a man to avoid "the inconvenience and unpleasantness to which her costume as a lady would subject her"; states that Napoleon III wished to purchase it at the Salon but Bonheur rejected the offer as too low.
J.-K. Huysmans. Certains. Paris, 1889, p. 124.
Philip Gilbert Hamerton. The Present State of the Fine Arts in France. London, 1892, p. 19.
John Denison Champlin Jr. and Charles C. Perkins, ed. Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings. New York, 1892, vol. 1, pp. 177–78.
John Durand. The Life and Times of A. B. Durand. New York, 1894, p. 193.
"The Metropolitan Museum of Art—The French Painters." New York Times (May 22, 1895), p. 4.
Catalogue of the Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1898, pp. 186–87, no. 654.
"True History of Bonheur's 'Horse Fair'." New York Times (January 1, 1898), p. RBA6, publishes a letter from Gambart to Avery describing his purchase of this picture after Bonheur's offer to sell it to the town of Bordeaux for Fr 12,000 was refused; mentions the two replicas and a small watercolor of the picture.
"Louvre of Nations." New York Times (September 17, 1898), p. RBA618.
William Sharp. "The Art Treasures of America (Concluded.)." Living Age, 7th ser., 1 (December 3, 1898), pp. 605–6.
Arthur Hoeber. The Treasures of The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. New York, 1899, p. 79.
L[éon]. Roger-Milès. Rosa Bonheur: Sa vie – son oeuvre. Paris, 1900, pp. 50–53, 56, 59–60, 62, 65, 170, states that Queen Victoria requested a private viewing of this picture at Windsor Castle when it was exhibited in London in 1855; relates that Nathalie Micas executed much of the National Gallery replica because Bonheur had been pressed for time to complete it for the engraver; notes that the second replica [see Notes] was mostly created by Bonheur, with her sister Juliette only preparing the main outlines.
Masters in Art: Rosa Bonheur 4 (1903), pp. 321–22, 327, 331–33, pl. II.
Frank Hird. Rosa Bonheur. London, 1904, pp. 25, 27–28, 31, 44, 47, 59, 70–77, 79, 81–83, 86, lists five versions of the picture: our original, the two replicas, the watercolor (private collection, Middlesbrough), and a drawing made after a photograph (then in Gambart's collection).
John Ruskin. The Works of John Ruskin. Ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. Vol. 14, London, 1904, p. 173 n. 1, p. 174, criticizes the artist for avoiding the painting of faces in this picture.
Théodore Guédy. Manuel pratique du collectioneur de tableaux comprenant les principales ventes des XVIII, XIX siècles jusqu'à nos jours... Paris, , p. 20.
Georges Riat. Gustave Courbet peintre. Paris, 1906, p. 104.
Anna Klumpke. Rosa Bonheur: Sa vie, son oeuvre. Paris, 1908, pp. 1, 18, 110, 217–32, 243, 267–68, 324, 368, 382, 414, 424, 432, ill. between pp. 226 and 227 [English ed., "Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)biography," Ann Arbor, 1997, pp. xi–xii, 5, 13, 69, 147–53, 162, 175–76, 213, 217, 236, 243, 260, 276], adopts the "voice" of the artist to recount the early history of this painting and recalls her inspiration to interpret, not imitate, the Parthenon friezes; relates that after reviewing studies for this picture and "Haymaking" (1855; Musée National du Château, Fontainebleau), the French Minister of Fine Arts commissioned the latter, asserting that Bonheur was not experienced enough in painting horses, but then unsuccessfully attempted to substitute "The Horse Fair" after its critical acclaim in 1853; cites the proposed sale price to the town of Bordeaux as Fr 15,000.
Paul Huet. Paul Huet (1803–1869), d'après ses notes, sa correspondance, ses contemporains. Ed. René Paul Huet. Paris, 1911, p. 181, publishes Huet 1853.
[François Crastre]. Rosa Bonheur. Paris, , pp. 39–43.
Royal Cortissoz. "Gustave Courbet at the Museum." New York Tribune (April 6, 1919), p. 7.
Muriel Ciolkowska. "Rosa Bonheur's Centenary." International Studio 75 (August 1922), pp. 367, 369–70, ill. p. 371.
Harry B. Wehle. "Seventy-Five Years Ago." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (April 1946), p. 202.
Albert Ten Eyck Gardner. "The Taste of the Seventies." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (April 1946), ill. pp. 196, 199 (installation photos).
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 10.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 6, ill. p. 49.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 160–64, ill., note that the Paris horse market was held on the Boulevard de l'Hôpital, near the asylum of Salpêtrière; suggest that the inscribed date indicates that Bonheur retouched the painting in response to criticism of the ground, trees, and sky when it was exhibited at the 1853 Salon.
Martin Davies with additions and some revisions by Cecil Gould inFrench School: Early 19th Century, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, etc. London, 1970, pp. 10–11, under no. 621, notes that the artist obtained a "permission de travestissement" from the police in order to wear male attire when preparing this picture at the horse market; states that Walter Goodall prepared the watercolor copy; mentions several painted studies and drawings besides the five finished versions.
François Duret-Robert Preface by René Huyghe inL'Impressionnisme. [Paris], 1971, p. 302.
John Rewald. "Should Hoving Be De-accessioned?" Art in America 61 (January–February 1973), p. 28.
Eleanor Tufts. Our Hidden Heritage: Five Centuries of Women Artists. New York, 1974, pp. 148–49, fig. 84.
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, p. 25.
Jeremy Maas. Gambart: Prince of the Victorian Art World. London, 1975, pp. 73–76, 79–80, 92–94, 104, 132, 158–61, 176, 181–82, ill. opp. p. 97, tells of Gambart's dealings with this painting, its exhibition in England, and the replicas and engravings made after it.
Jay E. Cantor. "A Monument of Trade: A. T. Stewart and the Rise of the Millionaire's Mansion in New York." Winterthur Portfolio 10 (1975), p. 188, fig. 22 (installation photo).
Rae Becker in Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin. Women Artists: 1550–1950. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1976, pp. 11, 224, fig. 32, states that a study of horses by Gericault was in Bonheur's studio when she painted "The Horse Fair".
Theodore Stanton, ed. Reminiscences of Rosa Bonheur. reprint ed. (1st ed., 1910). New York, 1976, pp. 30, 42, 124–25, 139, 221, 294, 314, 363, 378–85, 387, 404, ill. on title page, publishes recollections of Bonheur written by her contemporaries.
Jeremy Maas. "Rosa Bonheur and Sir Edwin Landseer: A Study in Mutual Admiration." Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1975–76. Totowa, New Jersey, 1976, pp. 66–68, notes that Bonheur was called the "female Landseer" immediately after Ernest Gambart hung the painting at his gallery in Pall Mall; discusses the painting's provenance.
Frederick Baekeland. "Collectors of American Painting, 1813 to 1913." American Art Review 3 (November–December 1976), p. 136.
Denys Sutton inParis—New York: A Continuing Romance. Exh. cat., Wildenstein. New York, 1977, p. 18, pl. V.
Hélène Toussaint. Gustave Courbet, 1819–1877. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. [London], 1978, p. 104 [French ed., 1977, p. 117].
Donna G. Bachmann and Sherry Piland. Women Artists: An Historical, Contemporary and Feminist Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J., 1978, pp. 150–51, ill.
Fine Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European Paintings and Works of Islamic Interest. Sotheby's, London. April 19, 1978, unpaginated, under no. 163, publishes an unfinished version of our painting, hesitantly attributing it to Bonheur [see Ref. Pancoast 1991]; notes that this version was thought to have been commissioned from the artist by Commander Hill-Lowe of Shropshire, England.
Lois Marie Fink. "French Art in the United States, 1850–1870: Three Dealers and Collectors." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 92 (September 1978), pp. 88, 95, fig. 1, states that, according to Gambart, Wright never met the originally agreed upon price of 30,000 francs, paying only 23,000 francs and claiming the rest was owed him as part of the profits from the success of the picture's inclusion in a touring exhibition in the United States; notes that Gambart later tried to buy the picture back from Wright for 50,000 francs but Wright refused.
Paul Spencer-Longhurst. "Art and Artists under the Second Empire." Connoisseur 199 (December 1978), p. 276, fig. 8.
James Harding. Artistes Pompiers: French Academic Art in the 19th Century. London, 1979, p. 29, erroneously states that Pierpont Morgan bought this picture and gave it to the MMA.
Alexandra R. Murphy inCorot to Braque: French Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1979, pp. xvii, xx, xxv.
Gabriel P. Weisberg. The Realist Tradition: French Painting and Drawing 1830–1900. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1980, p. 270.
Danielle Digne. Rosa Bonheur ou l'insolence: L'Histoire d'une vie, 1822–1899. Paris, 1980, pp. 83, 86, 88, 90–95, 98, 105, 108, 147, 155, 160, 171, pl. 1.
Dore Ashton and Denise Browne Hare. Rosa Bonheur: A Life and a Legend. New York, 1981, pp. 82–97, 104, 106, 112–14, 135, 140, 144, 155, 159, 177-78, 185-86, 188, 192–94, ill., observe the direct influence of Gericault, particularly his print "Horses Going to a Fair"; agree with Sterling and Salinger's [Ref. 1966] suggestion that Bonheur retouched the ground, trees, and sky in 1855, and then extended the inscription.
Mary Ann Tighe. "Portrait of an Artist." New York Times (May 24, 1981), p. BR15.
Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock. Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology. New York, 1981, p. 37, fig. 24.
Albert Boime. "The Case of Rosa Bonheur: Why Should a Woman Want to Be More Like a Man?" Art History 4 (December 1981), pp. 397, 405, pl. 29, remarks that preliminary studies reveal that Bonheur focused on the horses and "stuck in the human figures wherever there was space".
William R. Johnston. The Nineteenth Century Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore, 1982, p. 87.
Rosalia Shriver. Rosa Bonheur: With a Checklist of Works in American Collections. Philadelphia, 1982, pp. 29, 31–33, 37, 56, ill. p. 90, notes that in addition to the horse market, Bonheur studied the workhorses at the Paris Omnibus Company; remarks that this picture was the largest executed by any animal painter.
Albert Boime. "The Second Empire's Official Realism." The European Realist Tradition. Ed. Gabriel P. Weisberg. Bloomington, 1982, p. 97, notes that the Percheron horses depicted here were a native French breed from Normandy and were "thus identified with a highly conservative region and carried national and patriotic associations," adding that this picture "therefore glorified the Second Empire"; observes that conservative critics embraced it as an alternative to Courbet's realism.
Richard Alan Watson. "A Study of Rosa Bonheur's The Horse Fair." Master's thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1983, pp. iv, 1–4, 21, 32–33, 35–37, 40–82, 98–101, fig. 1, mentions Gericault's painting "The Start of the Race of the Barberi Horses" (1817; Musée du Louvre, Paris) as a source for this picture; notes that Bonheur's uncompleted "Wheat Threshing in the Camargue" (1864; Musée National de Château de Fontainebleau) was intended as a companion piece; records four replicas: the first by Bonheur and Micas (National Gallery, London), the second begun by Juliette Bonheur (unknown location), the third, measuring 19 x 35 inches (collection Dr. Karl Lowenstein), and the fourth, commissioned by Commander Hill-Lowe (sold Sotheby's, London; now private collection, Baton Rouge); places it in a broader social and artistic context, calling it the artist's "romantic interpretation of the energy and frenzy of the new urban society".
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. Ed. Edward Chaney and Neil Ritchie. London, 1984, p. 231.
Carol Troyen. "Innocents Abroad: American Painters at the 1867 Exposition Universelle, Paris." American Art Journal 16 (Autumn 1984), pp. 19–20, fig. 18 (installation photo).
Maureen C. O'Brien in Maureen C. O'Brien. In Support of Liberty: European Paintings at the 1883 Pedestal Fund Art Loan Exhibition. Exh. cat., Parrish Art Museum. Southampton, N.Y., 1986, pp. 32, 49 n. 18, p. 134, under no. 6.
John Milner. The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art in the Late Nineteenth Century. New Haven, 1988, p. 71.
Walter Liedtke. The Royal Horse and Rider: Painting, Sculpture, and Horsemanship, 1500–1800. New York, 1989, pp. 85, 323, pl. 212 (detail), erroneously refers to the National Gallery replica as the original.
Anne Henderson and Zoë Urbanek. Rosa Bonheur: Selected Works from American Collections. Exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University. Dallas, 1989, unpaginated, reproduce a quarter-size replica of the picture (collection Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wheeler) as most likely the version painted by Bonheur with her sister, Juliette.
Anne Distel. Impressionism: The First Collectors. New York, 1990, p. 233.
Virgilia Heimsath Pancoast. "Bonheur in Baton Rouge." IFARreports 12 (August–September 1991), pp. 2–4, locates the replica sold at Sotheby's in 1978 in a private collection, Baton Rouge, and attributes it to Bonheur.
Stephen N. Elias. Alexander T. Stewart: The Forgotten Merchant Prince. Westport, Conn., 1992, pp. 154–55, remarks that although the critics "pronounced the work too large for any private gallery" it hung in Stewart's mansion until his death; states erroneously that William Vanderbilt [Cornelius's son] purchased it at the Stewart sale.
James M. Saslow. "'Disagreeably Hidden': Construction and Constriction of the Lesbian Body in Rosa Bonheur's 'Horse Fair'." The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History. Ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard. New York, 1992, pp. 187, 189–94, 196–97, 200, 202, figs. 1, 2 (detail and overall), argues that the artist painted a self-portrait in the figure of the central horse tamer in this picture, attempting to "create an androgynous and proto-lesbian visual identity" and circumvent socially prescribed feminine ideals; suggests that the horses represent freedom from the constraint Bonheur experienced as a lesbian.
Tamar Garb. "Gender and Representation." Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven, 1993, pp. 233, 239, pl. 207, discusses it in terms of gender, sexuality, and representation.
Whitney Chadwick. "The Fine Art of Gentling: Horses, Women and Rosa Bonheur in Victorian England." The Body Imaged: The Human Form and Visual Culture Since the Renaissance. Ed. Kathleen Adler and Marcia Pointon. Cambridge, 1993, pp. 89–96, 98–100, 107, 196 n. 3, pl. 19, describes how the Victorian interpretation of this picture "as an epic struggle, one in which man's battle to secure control over powerful beasts symbolised a more generalised contest aimed at asserting cultural domination over untamed nature" was complicated by the fact that the artist was a woman; observes that the taming of horses was widely understood as a metaphor for domesticating women's "animal natures".
Bethany Tarbell. "Rosa Bonheur's Menagerie." Art & Antiques 15 (November 1993), pp. 60, 63, ill. pp. 58–59 (color detail).
John House. "Exhibition Reviews, New York: The New Nineteenth-Century European Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum." Burlington Magazine 135 (December 1993), p. 856.
19th Century European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. Sotheby's, New York. November 1, 1995, unpaginated, under no. 156, mentions it in a discussion of a copy then in a private collection, Tokyo.
John Fairley. The Art of the Horse. New York, 1995, pp. 141–42, colorpl. 90.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 430, ill.
M. Sue Kendall inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 29, New York, 1996, p. 651.
Heather McPherson inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 4, New York, 1996, p. 318.
Francis Ribemont inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, pp. 9–11, 95, 128, 133, ill. on cover (color).
Bruno Foucart inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, pp. 14, 19.
Dominique Cante inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, pp. 28–29, 158, no. 12, ill.
Dominique Dussol inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, pp. 39–40, 45–47, ill. pp. 52–53 (color).
Gabriel Weisberg inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, pp. 56–70, asserts that the critical acceptance and successful marketing of this picture allowed Bonheur to gain independence from government patronage.
Annie-Paule Quinsac inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, p. 104.
Evelyne Helbronner inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, p. 113.
Bernard Denis inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Francis Ribemont. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1997, p. 150.
Elizabeth Martin and Vivian Meyer. Female Gazes: Seventy-Five Women Artists. Toronto, 1997, pp. 36–37, ill. (color).
"Rosa Bonheur's Remarkable Art and Life is Celebrated in First International Retrospective." Dahesh Muse (Autumn 1997), unpaginated.
"Bonheur Panels, Gérôme Painting in Major Exhibitions." Dahesh Muse (Winter 1997), unpaginated, announces that the 1997 Bonheur retrospective in Bordeaux marks the first time that this picture was shown with the plaque made after the painting by Bonheur's brother, Isidore, for a monument to the artist in Fontainebleau.
Patricia Mainardi inCourbet: Artiste et promoteur de son oeuvre. Ed. Jörg Zutter and Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Exh. cat., Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne. Paris, 1998, p. 116, fig. 134.
Gabriel Weisberg inRosa Bonheur: All Nature's Children. Exh. cat., Dahesh Museum. New York, 1998, pp. viii, xii–xiv, 1–4, 6–18, fig. 1.
Annie-Paule Quinsac inRosa Bonheur: All Nature's Children. Exh. cat., Dahesh Museum. New York, 1998, p. 26.
Britta C. Dwyer inRosa Bonheur: All Nature's Children. Exh. cat., Dahesh Museum. 1998, pp. 66, 68.
Cristina Portell inRosa Bonheur: All Nature's Children. Exh. cat., Dahesh Museum. New York, 1998, pp. 90, 92.
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Catharine Lorillard Wolfe: The First Woman Benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 147 (March 1998), p. 53.
Jean Strouse. Morgan: American Financier. New York, 1999, p. 273.
Lionel Lambourne. Victorian Painting. London, 1999, pp. 319–20, states that this picture was sent to Buckingham Palace on September 5, 1855 to be viewed by Queen Victoria, noting that although the Queen did not purchase it "she did command a letter to be sent expressing her admiration" [see Ref. Roger-Milès 1900].
Laurel Lampela. "Daring to Be Different: A Look at Three Lesbian Artists." Art Education 54 (March 2001), p. 48, ill. (overall and detail).
Hollis Clayson. Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege (1870–71). Chicago, 2002, pp. 285, 294, 298, 445 n. 26, agrees with Saslow's [Ref 1992] assertion that this picture includes a self-portrait.
Valérie Bajou. Courbet. Paris, 2003, p. 94.
Mishoe Brennecke. "Double Début: Edouard Manet and 'The Execution of Maximilian' in New York and Boston, 1879-80." Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 3 (Autumn 2004), fig. 5 [http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/autumn04/296--double-debut-edouard-manet-and-the-execution-of-maximilian-in-new-york-and-boston-1879-80], discusses it in the context of the “Great Picture” exhibition tradition; describes it as one of the most popular “Great Pictures” to be exhibited in nineteenth-century America; notes its American tour was organized by Ernest Gambart after its sale to William P. Wright.
Louise Lippincott and Andreas Blühm. Fierce Friends: Artists and Animals, 1750–1900. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. London, 2005, pp. 108–9, 140.
Neil Harris inThe Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 221, notes that Sterling Clark enjoyed viewing this picture at the MMA, "proclaiming it 'one of the finest pictures in the museum,' long after the professional staff had recoiled from its presence in horror".
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Nineteenth-Century European Art. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2006, pp. 288–89, ill. p. 268 and fig. 12-24 (color, detail and overall).
Ross King. The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism. New York, 2006, pp. 241, 249, 369.
19th Century European Art. Sotheby's, New York. April 18, 2007, pp. 173–74, under no. 114.
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 9, figs. 5, 14 (installation photos, color and black and white).
Sylvain Amic inGustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 342 [French ed., Paris, 2007].
Marie Borin. Rosa Bonheur: Une artiste à l'aube du féminisme. Paris, 2011, pp. 131–34, 139, 143–46, 150, 154–55, 158–60, 193, 197–98, 228, 230–31, 243–44, 276–78, 320, 365–66, ill. opp. p. 217 (color), includes some unfootnoted early remarks and criticism in the press about the painting on the occasion of its exhibition in Ghent in 1853; quotes Auguste Bonheur's letter of July 1, 1853; quotes Gambart's memoirs at length for his version of the artist's sale of the painting to him; states that the painting was exhibited in Boston in 1858.
Claudia Denk inNatur als Kunst: Frühe Landschaftsmalerei des 19. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland und Frankreich aus der Sammlung der Christoph Heilmann Stiftung im Lenbachhaus München. Heidelberg, 2013, p. 254.
Léa Rebsamen. "Rosa Bonheur, artiste animalière au XIXe siècle." PhD diss., Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 2013, pp. 7, 10, 18, 46, 54, 61, 96, 99–100, 109–31, 134, 145–46, 148, fig. 99 (color), discusses the painting in depth, its conception, reception, and glorification of the Percheron breed, as well as morphological changes in horse breeds depicted from the period of the picture to the present day.
Margaret MacNamidhe. Delacroix and His Forgotten World: The Origins of Romantic Painting. London, 2015, p. 161 n. 33.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 434, no. 343, ill. pp. 352–53, 434 (color, overall and detail).
Caroline Chapman. Eighteenth-Century Women Artists: Their Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs. London, 2017, pp. 197, 201.
Bridget Alsdorf inWomen Artists in Paris, 1850–1900. Exh. cat., Denver Art Museum. New Haven, 2017, p. 35.
Joëlle Bolloch inWomen Artists in Paris, 1850–1900. Exh. cat., Denver Art Museum. New Haven, 2017, p. 243, states that it confirmed the artist's fame and allowed her to be exempt from having to submit works for jury selection in future Salons.
Bridget Quinn. Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in that Order). San Francisco, 2017, pp. 62–66, 70–71, ill. (color).
Diana J. Kostyrko. The Journal of a Transatlantic Art Dealer: René Gimpel 1918–1939. London, 2017, p. 246.
Monika Leonhardt inPraised and Ridiculed: French Painting 1820–1880. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Munich, 2017, p. 203.
Jennifer Olmsted. "In Defense of Painting: Delacroix's 'Lion Hunt' at the 1855 Exposition Universelle." Nonsite.org no. 27 (Spring 2019), unpaginated, nn. 57–58, fig. 7 (color) [https://nonsite.org/article/in-defense-of-painting], compares it to Delacroix's "Lion Hunt" (1855, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux), noting that Delacroix admired Bonheur's earlier painting (see Delacroix 1853).
Tanya Paul inBouguereau & America. Ed. Tanya Paul and Stanton Thomas. Exh. cat., Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, 2019, p. 19, figs. 2, 3 (photographs of Stewart's picture gallery).
Kari Weil. Precarious Partners: Horses and Their Humans in Nineteenth-Century France. Chicago, 2020, pp. 18–20, 74, 76, 78–81, 83, 197 nn. 65, 67, 71, colorpl. 4, finds the depiction of Salpêtrière in the background to be Bonheur's means of linking the necessity of the humane treatment of horses with that of the mentally ill; compares its size to that of Gericault's near life-size scenes of soldiers on horseback; calls the moment of the display of the horses at the horse fair a "celebratory 'liberation'".
Elaine Sciolino. "The Redemption of Rosa Bonheur." Smithsonian 51 (November 2020), pp. 70–72, ill. (color).
Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, fig. 77 (color).
Pierre Hurmic inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, p. 8.
Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, p. 12.
Charlotte Foucher Zarmanian inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, p. 17 n. 4, p. 19.
Sophie Barthélémy inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 29–30.
Christophe Brouard inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 34, 36, 64–67 n. 11, discusses the painting's appearance in elements of popular culture.
Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 48, 50–52.
Annie-Paule Quinsac inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 68, 70, 72, 74.
Asher Miller inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 99–105, discusses the painting in detail, particularly focusing on its Salon criticism; notes that it was likely due to criticism that found the picture lacking in finish that the artist returned to work on it in 1855.
Sandra Buratti-Hasan inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 115, 117, 120, 122.
Valérie Bienvenue inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 126, 128–30.
Léa Rebsamen inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 148–50, discusses the depiction of the Percheron breed.
Leila Jarbouai inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 161–62, 169 n. 60, discusses drawings made in preparation for the painting and notes the extremely large amount of preparatory drawings for this work in particular.
Michel Pons inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 197–98, 200, 257–59, lists its exhibition in Ghent as in 1854; notes that it was exhibited in several cities in the United States beyond New York in 1858.
Alexandra Morrison inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, pp. 215–19.
Emily C. Burns inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, p. 227.
Thomas Busciglio-Ritter inRosa Bonheur (1822–1899). Ed. Sandra Buratti-Hasan and Leila Jarbouai. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Paris, 2022, p. 239.
Regina Marler. "The Bucolic Heroic." New York Review of Books 69 (May 12, 2022), pp. 43–44.
Elaine Sciolino. "Rosa Bonheur's Animal Spirits." New York Times (December 28, 2022), p. C2.
Franz Zelger. "Rosa Bonheur's Technical Skill and Challenge to Gender Stereotypes Are Attracting Renewed Interest in Her Long-Unfashionable Art." Burlington Magazine 165 (September 2023), p. 1021, fig. 2 (color).
There are three autograph painted replicas of this work: the earliest (47 1/4 x 100 1/4 in.), begun in 1855 by Nathalie Micas, is in the National Gallery, London; the second (48 x 100 in.), begun by Bonheur's sister Juliette and formerly in the McConnel collection, Derbyshire, is probably the version that was in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wheeler in 1989 (see Henderson and Urbanek 1989); the third (49 1/2 x 105 1/4 in.), sold by Sotheby's, London, April 19, 1978, no. 163, is in a private collection, Baton Rouge. Watson (1983) lists a fourth replica (19 x 35 in.) owned by Dr. Karl Lowenstein.
An autograph watercolor version (24 3/4 x 50 1/8 in.) was sold by Sotheby's, New York, on April 18, 2007, lot 114. Watson (1983) records another autograph watercolor version (24 x 49 in.) in a private collection that was sold by Knoedler in 1982. A drawing begun by Bonheur after a photograph of the work was sold by Christie's, London, on May 2, 1903, lot 1, to a Mr. Wallis (see Watson 1983 and Pancoast 1991).
Numerous oil and pencil studies exist, including three in The Met (1975.319.2; 1991.463; 1996.319). In addition, several copies and prints have been made after this composition. The earliest engraving, by Veyrassat, was executed while the painting was exhibited in the Salon of 1853. In 1856, Thomas Landseer's engraving, based on the first replica, was widely distributed and contributed to the picture's immense popularity.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, on November 15, 1886, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Board of Trustees officially approved the establishment of the institution's first curatorial departments—the Department of Paintings, Department of Sculpture, and Department of Casts.
Jennette Mullaney, associate email marketing manager, spoke with Rebecca Rabinow, associate curator in the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, about The Horse Fair, a monumental painting by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822–1899).
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